The Process of Article Writingkeywords are

The keywords available via the “Browse Articles” list and “Get Next Article” button are terms our clients have chosen to represent their products or services. The keyword is not a topic or title, but merely a starting point for your article.

These keywords also come with an industry and a country. The industry will help you point your article in the right direction, especially with keywords like “scooter,” “trailer,” and “storage.” The country will help you know how to approach industries like insurance and law.

Additional keywords

Some keywords also come with additional keywords that you are not required to use, but may help clarify the keyword better. Feel free to use the additional keywords to come up with a topic and direction for your article.

Special instructions

Keywords may also have special instructions that offer insight or specific direction a client requires. These special instructions trump any writing guidelines outlined on WritersDomain.

Citations

The rich-text editor in the WritersDomain workspace enables you to insert citations into the text, using anchor text or URLs. Including citations can make your article more credible and helpful to the reader. Citations are required for any numbers, stats, or hard-to-find information.

At least one in-line citation is required for Premium articles.

Ideation

Once you have selected a keyword, research the industry and decide on a topic and direction for your article. Discern your audience and decide on the appropriate tone. Remember, the people who will be reading your article are people who have searched for the keyword you have been given.

For instance, if the keyword is a highly-technical term in the construction industry, your audience is probably people who are very familiar with construction and contracting. They will be seeking more in-depth, technical information. If the keyword is more general, such as dentistry, your audience could be looking for a dentist or a specific procedure in the field of dentistry.

Before you start, answer the questions: Who is searching for this keyword? and Why are they searching for this keyword? This will help you write an article appropriately suited for our client.

For more ideas and helps on how to come up with a topic, title, and direction, see our posts on IDEATION on the WritersDomain blog.

Writing Guidelinesguidelines quick reference

Writing for the web is different from academic, technical, and other forms of writing with which you may be familiar. When people search for information online, they want the information presented to them in an easy-to-understand, authoritative manner.

Think about your own online experiences. When you search for information, how do you discern if an article is worth reading? What attracts you to an article and keeps you engaged to the end?

The following guidelines apply to both Standard and Premium articles:

Write articles that are researched, factual, and specific. In addition, choosing keywords with which you are familiar will better enable you to write a well-informed article that is beneficial to the reader.

The keyword is simply the starting point for your article. It is not the topic, nor should it be the title of your article. Research your keyword to get ideas for potential topics. Often, the first topic and title you come up with aren’t your best ideas. Brainstorm until you come up with the perfect idea.

Plan your article before you start writing. In planning your purpose, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the readers searching for?
  • Where should my article lead the writer?

This will help you discern your audience and appropriate tone.

Develop an outline for your article and have a clear direction where you want your article to go. Deliver on the promise of your article title. A clear vision of your purpose will help you avoid tangents and fluff that will distract from your article.

Dos and don’ts

Try different approaches and use different angles to write each article. Don’t exclusively submit “How-to” or “7 Best…” types of articles.

Do not write every article in a formulaic or similar manner. Your submissions need to be unique in content and form. Spend the time to research a topic and then write about it in a unique way.

Do your research, but do not overwhelm the reader.

Proofread. At this level, your submissions should contain no grammatical, spelling, or punctuation flaws.

Be creative. Think outside the box. Figure out what’s hot and what’s trending, and what will attract readers’ attentions.

Include inline citations as needed and as appropriate. Use your judgment in using anchor text or URLs to link to your source. Premium articles require at least one inline citation.

Although citations are encouraged, do not rely on them to get around plagiarism. Rather, use citations as references to validate your content. Direct quotes longer than one sentence are not allowed, even when cited.

Use day-to-day language, appropriate for internet reading. A good check is to ask yourself, Am I writing to be admired or to help someone? Focus on engaging ideas and purposeful direction and you will rate much better than if you focus on writing with an impressive vocabulary and complex sentence structure.

Do not use anecdotes and do not write in a first-person point of view.

Use gender-neutral pronouns in general cases. We also recognize that in some situations, the use of gender-specific pronouns is acceptable.

We encourage writers to be as gender-neutral as possible

Refrain from highlighting a particular company or referencing competitor brands in the given industry. It’s okay to cite information from most websites, but do not focus on and talk about any competing company specifically.

Do not make common, general statements. If it’s common knowledge, leave it out. Provide the writers with useful, pertinent information. Tell the reader how, not what. For example, say “Finding a cheap hotel in New York is easy if you…” rather than “You can find a cheap hotel in New York.”

Do not write about the keyword in a negative way. The keyword usually represents a product or service provided by our client, so the overall tone of your article should be positive or, at the very least, neutral.

Do not write a review of or advertisement for any product or service, even if you are given the company name in the special instructions. Articles should be helpful and unbiased, and they should present industry-related knowledge.

Do not include any contact information (company phone number, address, etc.).

Avoid wordiness

Wordiness and redundancies clog up your writing and distract the reader. Examples of wordiness include:

  • due to the fact that instead of simply using because
  • in the event that instead of using if or when

An example of redundancies includes:

  • Basic fundamentals v. fundamentals. Fundamentals, by definition, are basic.

Another way writers multiply words is by turning verbs into nouns. This is called nominalization. Writing with verbs rather than noun forms of verbs will also make your content more active and actionable. An example of nominalization includes:

  • The professors reached a conclusion that… v. The professors concluded that…

rule of thumbWhen in doubt, think about why you are using a particular word or phrase. If the reason is to reach word count, take it out. If you are writing to show off your lexicon, take it out. Your readers aren’t curling up on a couch to read your article and be wowed by your command of the language. They are searching for information and want it in a succinct, easy-to-digest manner.

Plagiarism definition

We take plagiarism very seriously at WritersDomain. Plagiarism is copying or rewording any material, including articles you wrote previously. Submission of non-original work, whether plagiarized or reused from your own writings, will result in account deactivation.

Intuition

We strive to continuously offer resources and writing helps, including feedback from the editors. The comments from the editors will be extremely helpful, as the editors will be able to give you feedback on specific articles. That said, writing is an art and requires a certain level of intuition. Trying to enumerate all the dos and don’ts and to explain exactly how to write a 5-star blog is simply not possible. The possibilities of writing are too varied to capture in a single document or website. Therefore, you must rely on your own creative and critical thinking and intuition to produce 5-star articles.

17 comments

  • Rachelle

    April 24, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I have a question about keywords. Sometimes they are have strange punctuation or are not capitalized correctly (like lasik). Do we put them in our article the way they are given to us or the way they should be written?

    1. WritersDomain

      April 28, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Keywords do not have to be used in the article at all. Use them to come up with your idea and then go from there.

  • Sue Stephenson

    May 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    I would like to sign up for WrtiersDomain.net but did not see a registration link. Thank you for any help in guiding me to register.

    Sue

    1. WritersDomain

      May 20, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Currently, registration is not open. On the homepage you can sign up on a waitlist to be notified when registration does open!

  • This Ain’t Your High School English Class: Why Plagiarism Is a Big Deal |

    June 17, 2014 at 8:51 am

    […] Writing Guidelines […]

  • Dakotah Snelgrove

    July 2, 2014 at 10:22 am

    I am trying to sign up for the waitlist, but I am having trouble finding the link for it. I look forward to writing for your Website.

    Thank you,
    Dakotah Snelgrove

    1. WritersDomain

      July 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      There’s no waitlist for English. Just register on writersdomain.net.

  • Carolyn

    July 28, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I’m unsure of how to format inline for URLs. What is the preferred format? Which is the default style guide here, APA or MLA? And finally, should we use HTML tags in any of our writing for anchor text for the inline citation?

    Thanks!

    1. WritersDomain

      August 29, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      There is a great FAQ that answers this question:

      How should I cite the sources that I’m using?

      The WritersDomain Writing Desk is equipped with a rich text editor that gives you the ability to hyperlink to the sources you’re using. Just highlight part of the phrase that’s introducing your information, click the hyperlink button, and insert the link for the page you used.

      We also encourage inline citations, though with a few guidelines:

      Do not use parenthetical citations.
      Do not use an entire URL as an inline citation

      Here are a few examples of good inline citations:

      “As Mashable.com claims . . .”

      In this example, “mashable.com” would be hyperlinked to the specific article.

      “…as explained in a recent study”

      Here, “recent study” would be hyperlinked to the site with the specific study.

  • Elisabeth Benoist

    August 1, 2014 at 4:33 am

    I am a French writer and I would gladly work for your website but only in French because my English writting skills are not top notch. Why did I have to go through an English grammar test ? It makes no sense : I failed the test with 83 % instead of 85% : does it mean I can’t submit for writting in French ?

    1. WritersDomain

      August 4, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Don’t worry about the English grammar test. Email support @ writersdomain.net and we’ll send you the link to the French grammar test.

  • Caryn Mayo

    August 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I am having trouble trying to find the link to take my grammar test. I have already submitted my writing sample. Could you please tell me how to find the grammar test? Thank you.

    1. WritersDomain

      August 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Email support @ writersdomain.net and we’ll get you the link!

  • Caroline Smith

    August 27, 2014 at 3:33 am

    What is the selection process for writers of premium articles? Do you write a certain number of standard articles before being allowed to write premium articles?

    1. WritersDomain

      August 27, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Check out the FAQ for this one! (I’ve heard there are Premium articles available to write. How do I gain access to them?)

  • Rachel Reitsma

    September 22, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    I have registered as I saw an ad asking for applicants. I have written an article based on the keyword: acupuncture. I can not press the submit writing sample button even though my writing sample is ready to go! What technical issue am I facing?

    1. WritersDomain

      September 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

      You need to use either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. This will solve most technical issues you see!

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